To Simmel society was just an intricate web of multiple relations between

To simmel society was just an intricate web of

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that views the individual as the ultimate social reality. To Simmel, society was just an intricate web of multiple relations between people who are in constant interaction with one another. Essentially, Simmel believed sociologists should stick with understanding Sociation (refers to particular patterns and dorms in which people interact with one another) and leave the rest to other disciplines. He was also interested in the overall grammar and geometry of social forms, and how they may appear different, but are actually quite similar under it all. Simmel’s sociology used a dialectic method – a multicausal and multidirectional method. Dialectic method focuses on social relations, combines facts and value, rejects the idea that there is a division between social phenomena, and is concerned with both conflicts and contradictions. Simmel believed conflict, which results from a dialectic process, could be a good thing as it can help relieve tension; that it is necessary for a healthy individual & society, and that there is no growth without some conflict here and there to help the process. Conflict has the ability to create cooperation between individuals/groups on the one hand, while having the ability to start a war on the other. Simmel was incredibly interested in conflict as a form, how it is structured regardless of the specific conflict; how conflict can be both sides of the same coin, a yin yang (consequence & solution). Simmel saw the importance of social interactions with a society, and how those bonds and institutions need to be destroyed and made anew in a never-ending cycle. He believed to understand how society functions, observation was necessary. He observed the two most basic forms of relationships, a dyad (two people) and a triad (three people). A dyad, a group of two people, differs qualitatively from other types of groups because the two members are only confronted only by one another, not by a collectivity. When one member leaves, the dyad is broken. A triad, a group with three members, has an increased chance of internal conflict than a dyad because a consensus, with three individual voices, are harder to get to, and there can also be a two-against-one dynamic. This quantitative importance of size, regarding groups, is one of Simmel’s better known and respected ideas. He also noted that these basic relationships have the ability to grow and connect with one another, like a spider web. He also tried to explain the differences between the subjective and objective culture, and how the subjective experiences get mashed up with the broader social processes/institutions, and how there is a general tendency for the gab between the subjective and objective to widen with time. Lastly, he became known for his use of common analogies, such as fashion and money, to help explain his concepts to his students and to the common people, not academics.

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